3 Apr 2017

Published by Alison Watson-Shields on

This morning at Young At Heart ULO, St John’s Church, Stockton, we had a very laid back session. We started with the refreshments and biscuits as we normally do, but the tables were so engaged in socialising that it seemed rude to interrupt!

I would like to thank Jean from the Over 50’s Forum for joining us this morning. Jean worked closely with occupants of one of the tables to engage them in using iPads to explore creativity. Those who took part in the iPad activities explored using Smule’s Magic Piano to play music to the group, and Pottery HD to create custom pots that can be sold at auction for in-game credits.

We had a visitor from the IPC team, Anne, who came to talk about how some of our group members might be able to benefit from the great work taking place in Stockton-on-Tees around the integration of health and social care personal budgets to increase self-management of certain long-term health conditions.

We also had the opportunity to talk to both of the Cognitive Stimulation Therapy groups, that also run at St John’s Church, about the work that we do at Young At Heart ULO and what we might be able to offer them should they wish to continue to meet with their fellow group members.

Next week the church is not available so we will be meeting at The Centenary Pub, The Glebe, Norton, for an informal gathering. The following week will be Easter Monday

This afternoon at Young At Heart ULO, John Whitehead Park Community Hub, Billingham, we had a very active session. After we completed the orientation exercises and had a bit of a catch-up, we ordered our drinks from the Cafe In The Park and got ourselves comfortable sat in a circle to play the parachute game.

It is the first time we have been able to enjoy the parachute game here due to the size of the group compared to the size of the canopy. However, last week I ordered a smaller 6ft parachute with only 9 handles so that we could enjoy the game with smaller groups.

The group enjoyed the parachute game, and the volunteers did a great job to lead the session and repeat instructions from the CD. One participant enjoyed it when you had to rustle the canopy really fast, while the other enjoyed the Gypsy Dance, which focussed on the feet.

After the parachute game, we ordered some more drinks from the Cafe In The Park and spent some more time socialising and had a very informal music quiz/reminiscence session.

Next week we will be having a cognitive stimulation activity.

In Thornaby we had a very quiet session, with only a small group to work with. Our theme for today was poetry, which excited and terrified the group at the same time. 

We started with our orientation exercises before singing “Getting To Know You” from The King and I. I then explained what an acrostic poem was and gave 2 examples on the whiteboard. An acrostic poem is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out the theme of the poem. 

Everyone had their own worksheet, but I suggested they collaborate on poems and share ideas, to reduce pressure on those doubting their abilities and language and spelling skills. Those who needed it also had help from a volunteer with writing and spelling. 

After the group had completed their first acrostic poem on the theme of ‘easter’, we then worked together to complete a mind map about things we associate with spring time, before writing an acrostic poem about springtime using the ideas we had shared, or our own ideas. 

We ended the session with “Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye” by Vera Lynn. 

Next week we will be working with Bauer Academy to deliver a session exploring the use of music for reminiscence. 

Categories: YAHBlog

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